Meaning

29 Nov 2014

Building Meaning through Semantic Alternation

in Ceptr, Design Principles, Meaning, Semantics, Structure

In designing Ceptr we’ve discovered a pattern in how systems build meaning. It’s likely that someone else has already written about this, but we haven’t found it, so we don’t know what anyone else calls it. We’re calling it Semantic Alternation.

Something has meaning or significance in a particular context. This object (a physical structure) is footstool when in front of the easy chair, a table when holding the chess board between two chairs, and when we’re low on seating for an event and put it at the end of the dining table, it’s a chair. (See more pictures below)

Meaning is not fixed and independent; it is fluid and bound to a context.

27 Nov 2014

The Pervasiveness of Consciousness and Language

in Consciousness, DNA, Evolution, Meaning, Writing

The word “atom” means indivisible in the original Greek. It was supposed to be the smallest indivisible object. “Object” meaning: tangible thing put before the senses. Atoms were supposed to be the smallest little LEGO blocks out of which everything was built. Western reductive materialism is largely predicated on seeing the world this way: A bunch of passive objects bouncing off of each other, except for us. Humans with sentience. Somehow we rose above the random chemical reactions of Universe to become intelligent. Now it is our right to arrange these LEGOs however we please (whether a God-given right according to the creationists or Sentience-given according to the scientists).

Does that story start to sound a bit thin when stated that plainly?

Prevailing scientific models no longer see atoms as indivisible objects, but rather a markedly complex system of interacting wavicles, forces, fields, and probability densities (wavicles = wave-particles which simultaneously have the properties of a wave and a particle).

We gave up indivisibility a long time ago. The current Wikipedia entry (excerpted below) about subatomic particle lists 100 of them without even getting far into anti-matter and anti-particles: